Monday, October 18

The Prosecutor’s Office asks for more than one hundred years in prison for ten adults for prostitution of minors under guardianship in Álava

The Alava Prosecutor’s Office, led by Josu Izaguirre, has requested penalties that together exceed one hundred years in prison against a group of ten adults who incited prostitution to minors under guardianship of the Sansoheta center, of the Alava County Council. The facts were known in 2016. They are accused of “corruption of minors, sexual abuse, exposure of pornography to minors and crimes against public health”, since in addition to sexual crimes there was also shared consumption of drugs with adolescents. They were between 14 and 17 years old at that time, according to the then head of Social Policy of Álava, Beatriz Artolazabal, now a counselor in the Government of Iñigo Urkullu.

The file of the April complaint delayed a minor leaving prostitution

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“All these acts were committed on minors under the guardianship of the Provincial Council of Álava”, explains the prosecutor’s office in a brief statement in which it affirms that “given the circumstances of the case” and “the seriousness of the facts “for having” extremely vulnerable victims “will not provide more data on an investigation that has lasted five years. However, in 2020 Izaguirre already highlighted in an interview on Radio Vitoria the seriousness of minors engaging in prostitution while under guardianship.

The case originated in Sansoheta, a semi-open center for adolescents with serious social integration problems and located on the outskirts of Vitoria. It is a publicly owned facility, although managed by a private company. In 2016 it turned out that at least nine of the inmates had a profile on a contact website in which they offered sexual services in exchange for money. They made appointments with adults from the computers in the center. At the beginning, it was already established that the meetings never took place in public facilities.

The mother of one of the young people under guardianship had previously reported to the Vitoria Municipal Police that she had seen messages about these practices on her son’s WhatsApp. The first investigations were started but they were archived due to lack of evidence, although with the data that the profiles of the minors were provided, they were very easily found on that contact website. It was also mentioned that the minor had a “history of escapes” and that no control measures could be applied on him. However, six months later, the arrest of a well-known city psychologist who, apparently, had abused minors was known. He was sent to preventive detention and, now, an investigation determined that there were more adults involved. Although all of them were claiming that they had acted at all times with the consent of the adolescents. However, the legislation is clear and there is never such a figure of consensual prostitution when the person exercising it is a minor.

The trial for this case will be held soon at the Provincial Court of Álava. The investigation court 2 of Vitoria has been the one that has completed the investigation, a room in which there have been up to three headlines in recent years, Ana Jesús Zulueta, Yolanda Varona and Cristina Rodríguez Ruiz. It was in March when the investigation was terminated and then eleven possible perpetrators were pointed out, although the Prosecutor’s Office imputes the crimes to ten of them.

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